Posts Tagged ‘personal finance’
Shopping around is one of THE cornerstones of frugality. Taking a little time to do your research in order to get the best deal … it’s a no-brainer.
But when do you draw the line?
I wasted far too much time early on in Europe trying to save money on accommodation. Hostels and hotels were so expensive in Brussels and Amsterdam that frankly, I may have saved a few euros, but it was a poor payoff in proportion to how much time I spent searching countless websites looking for the best price.
My go-to sites for booking accommodation are Agoda (in Asia) and Booking (Europe/North America). I also used Hotwire, Priceline and Expedia once each in the US, but by and large, Booking.com is where it’s at for me. Unlike other sites, it’s always upfront about taxes and other charges that individual places levy. And while I don’t ALWAYS check against other sites, I can’t think of any instance where I’ve found the same room for cheaper elsewhere.
(As for hostels, I always play off both Hostelworld and Hostelbookers against each other, though Booking also includes some hostels in its database.)
The convenience of booking through the same site can’t be understated, particularly if there’s a good mobile app. All your details are saved, so you don’t need to enter them every time. You know how to navigate your way around instinctively to get the information you need. And your loyalty starts to pay off – you start to get emails with special subscriber deals and exclusive discounts. I’ve booked through Booking.com so many times I now have a 10% Genius lifetime discount, although it applies to certain hotel deals only.
Loyalty pays in other areas, too. You’re more likely to get fees waived if you’re a long-time customer. You get discounts for staying with the same insurance provider after a certain number of years. You get a free coffee if you rack up enough stamps at your favourite cafe. And so on and so forth.
Personally, I’m pretty loyal when it comes to banking and insurance, but I’m a personal finance nerd. Nothing is totally sacred.
When do you go with the easier option, and when do you hunt down the best possible deal?
Tags: money, personal finance, shopping
I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for this long-expected post! Here it is.
Travel on a budget
Travel on a budget often involves housesitting, a mainstay of RTW travellers. We won’t be staying in one place for very long, though, and we’d need to crack the market first – getting that first gig without experience is probably the toughest part.
Instead, we’ll be backpacking, hostelling, and looking for apartment/room rentals. In lots of cases, private rentals seem to be cheaper than hostels in big cities. There are sites like AirBNB and Roomorama, which have large databases but also high prices and hefty fees. There’s also plenty of others, like Wimdu, 9flats and Housetrip, which I prefer due to the no/low fees. These range from shared apartments to full private apartments, but at the very least you’ll generally at least get a futon to yourself. Some rentals may charge huge deposits/bonds/cleaning fees, or extra fees for extra guests. I would just browse listings on all the sites and see what catches your eye on a case by case basis. Most of them are easy to use – you can search by date, area, sort results in list format or view on a map, and some display reviews on the page and even an availability calendar.
Then of course there’s Couchsurfing, though I’m aware that as a pair we may find it difficult. New Zealand is a land of houses, but I know tiny apartments are the norm in lots of cities around the world. In scouting out potential hosts overseas, it became obvious that many, many hosts can only accommodate one guest. That said, we’re also open to staying further out in the suburbs – that’s just an opportunity for another experience entirely. (You can read about my experiences as a Couchsurfing host here.)
Finally, there’s volunteering. Hosts shelter and sometimes feed you in accommodation for your labour, which could range from helping out on a farm to cleaning or even more creative pursuits like graphic design or photography. Look on sites like HelpX, Workaway, WWOOF, GlobalHelpSwap and Staydu. To sign up as a member, you’ll usually be charged a fee that gives you access for a year, and freedom to contact as many hosts as you want.
Budgeting for a RTW trip
I read a lot of RTW blogs and have looked at a lot of travel budgets (Legal Nomads has a large list of links to various bloggers’ travel budgets here).
I’ve also combed through Budget Your Trip, a super handy website that aggregates costs from real travellers. Obviously, any crowdsourced data is only as good as those who partake, so costs are likely to be more accurate in cities that are well trafficked. On Budget Your Trip, you can see budget, mid range and luxury budgets based on real data, in local or other currencies.
Costs are going to vary a lot by region. Asia will be the cheapest and Europe probably the most expensive. I’m hoping we can average out to $100 a day over the whole trip, though I’m also accepting of the fact we’re very probably going to blow through that at times.
Funding a RTW trip
There are two parts to this equation.
Savings is pretty self-explanatory. You’re all grownups; you know how to save money (at least in theory, even if you’re not quite as good at it as you might like to think). Savings = income – expenses. To break that further down, you can cut costs, increase income (which I tend to be better at), or both, in order to maximise that gap.
Expenses so far have been about $10k. Thankfully, we got a killer discount on our backpacks and some other gear (nearly 50%) this month due to T’s staff discount at Fishing Camping Outdoors. There are probably more I haven’t included below (eg travel adapters and other bits and bobs).
At this stage, there should be enough in the kitty to cover a $100/day budget, once I get my leave paid out, given that we’re spending a month volunteering. Odds are we’ll spend more than that in some places, so…
Income is the other half. I’m aiming to keep some money flowing in while we’re on the road, which hopefully will have the added bonus of keeping my skills sharp. How?
Where print ads typically cost more than a month of my salary, online advertising is absolutely buggered. For all that digital offers (interactivity! measurement! mobile! targeting!) I don’t know if it will ever catch up. Ideally, ads would flow in and help fund this blog, with me only needing to worry about editorial and keeping you guys interested. Unfortunately, traditional advertising just isn’t working anymore. Advertisiers want more integrated and sophisticated solutions. THEY WANT EDITORIAL. That means rather than being relegated to banners and sidebars, they want in content links, for example. Sometimes this is more lucrative than a plain ad but it’s a lot more work for us. At a company, you can generally leave that to the ad sales guys; as a blogger you have to be much more involved.
Er, my point? Online advertising is tough. That said, where possible, I will continue to try to monetise the blog – without selling out, that is.
I never wanted to make blogging a business. I have no desire to get to the point of bringing on staff writers – this is and always will be my personal blog – paid speaking gigs (shudder – I can’t think of anything worse than public speaking), or coaching (again, no desire to be a life coach). But I am grateful for the opportunities that it has brought. Which leads me to…
Yes, there really are jobs where you can travel the world and work from anywhere – the kinds of jobs where you can earn an income as long as you have a computer and internet connection. Technically, I can work remotely, but the reality of my particular workflow and daily local deadlines means keeping up my workload while constantly on the move would be, er, challenging. And I’m more than happy to take a bit of a break.
So I suppose I’ll be joining the hordes of digital nomads out there … to an extent. The plan is to do *some* work while on the road. Exactly how much I am not sure, but less than full time.
Want a piece of me? I’m available for select content-centric work, so if you’re in need of a
kick-ass freelance blogger, freelance ghostwriter, or freelance editor, drop me a line.
One last note
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of things that make this possible:
- No commitments. That means no mortgage, no kids – living in a crappy house with hand-me-down furniture (not that I care about that, but I’m MAKING A POINT here!)
- No/minimal debt. That means no student loan, no car loan, etc.
I’m a big believer in keeping your fixed costs low and committing to as little as possible. That’s allowed us the flexibility to do this relatively painlessly. Figure out the puzzle pieces and set yourself up for success.
Whatever your goal – travel, buying a house, having kids, moving to another country – it’s doable if you truly want it and commit to making it happen.
Tags: money, personal finance, travel
It’s easy to get disheartened about your finances when you’re an avid reader of personal finance blogs. Like some people might read fashion magazines and quietly compare themselves to the models they see on the pages, I read money blogs and compare myself to people who are either way behind me – the debt bloggers – or, in most cases, way ahead.
But you know what always cheers me up? A chat with my bank.
I remember paying a visit to my local branch years ago toward the end of high school. I probably only had about $4k in my accounts (I never cracked $10k until after graduating university), yet the teller was apparently amazed that I’d saved that much, and asked me what I was saving for.
“Ummm, uni?” I offered, stumped.
You work at a bank, for goodness sake. Is saving for the sake of saving really such a foreign concept?
This month I applied for a second credit card, thinking it would be good to have a backup while we travel that can be carried separately just in case I get mugged or my wallet gets lost. The online process took just a couple of minutes, and was followed up by a call the next day with a few more questions - so you don’t have a student loan? car loan? hire purchase? store cards anywhere? – along with acknowledgement of my strong savings history. Way to boost the ego. (I’ve been with my bank for over a decade, so they’re all up in the intimate details of my financial history – which is pretty vanilla.)
The bank rep also tried to upsell me to a Gold or Platinum Visa. Now that’s something I never thought I’d hear in my life. Say what?
If I booked my flights with one of these premium cards, I’d get free travel insurance. Righty-o. Pity I’ve already booked both – and don’t really want to pay hefty annual fees for the privilege of a shinier credit card.
This got me thinking, though. Putting aside the fact that I just don’t see myself as the kind of person to own a gold or platinum credit card, would it ever make sense from a financial standpoint?
Well, at $80 to $130 a year in annual fees, I think not. In comparison, my humble standard Visa only costs $24 (bank credit cards without annual fees don’t really exist here). According to interest.co.nz, I have one of the best credit cards in regard to annual fees. Given my lifestyle and spending habits, the credit card perks of free travel insurance and the ability to earn reward points marginally faster don’t really appeal.
My needs in a credit card are simple, really: enable me to buy stuff online (whether it’s quality baseball equipment or contact lenses), rent vehicles, provide an imprint at the odd hotel, and be widely accepted, so I can use it to pay for as many things as possible in order to rack up points. As well as the $24 a year I pay for the privilege of my bank credit card, I also pay $20 to partake in the rewards programme, which earns me more than enough to cover all the fees, as well as pay for a few trips to the movies or a few meals out.
What, if any, perks do you get through your credit cards? And what do they cost you?
Tags: banking, money, personal finance
Ever known anyone who, upon getting a new job, freaked out after finding out the company works on a monthly pay cycle?
I get that budgeting is a deeply personal thing and managing your finances when money is coming in on a relatively infrequent basis can be tough. It seems that as a rule, most of us would prefer to be paid more frequently (in smaller amounts, obviously) whenever possible.
At a previous job, one colleague learned that most of us were getting paid on a fortnightly basis, and after finding out, tried to negotiate with HR to get on the same cycle. Given that this was months and months after said colleague had joined the company, the answer was unsurprisingly no (if you’ve coped that long, you can keep coping!). I’m not sure how this works as a general rule – most companies, especially smaller ones, operate on one single pay frequency, but this particular organisation had a lot of unionised employees and as a result, pay cycles for different staff ranged from weekly to fortnightly to monthly.
I’ve been paid on pretty much every kind of cycle there is over the years (including monthly in arrears for mystery shopping assignments – always fun) and I’m pretty confident I could cope with any pay frequency today.
Here’s a little rundown of my pay vs rent (my biggest expense) history
- Weekly pay / weekly rent
- Fortnightly pay / weekly rent
- Fortnightly pay / fortnightly rent (on opposite weeks!)
- Monthly pay / fortnightly rent
- Monthly pay/ weekly rent
Every new adjustment took a little bit of work. But eventually, I got used to it and made it work, largely because I like to operate on a weekly cycle. Even when rent wasn’t weekly, groceries, petrol, etc still were. Every pay day I transfer my money into my savings account, then transfer out money in weekly increments to cover that week’s outgoings. (And because rent is pretty much never paid monthly by anyone in New Zealand, I don’t get these ‘bonus’ paycheques in the two five-week months of the year that you Americans always go on about. Sadface.)
If I had the choice, I honestly don’t know what my preference would be today. Ideally, I guess it would be one that matched up with my rent payments – aligning your income with your biggest expense is always handy.
How often do you get paid?
Tags: money, personal finance, work
Why hello there!
It’s fitting that I’m hosting the carnival of personal finance today, given we’ve just come off a week of thinking and talking about nothing else except money (Women’s Money Week, holler!)
Before we get stuck in, I’m going to have a little rant.
There’s a finance company that’s just started advertising here on TV. Every ad follows the same scenario: person calls up company in a tizzy because s/he has just blown tons of $$$ on gifts for a spouse / desperately needs to install a swimming pool / some other inane and irresponsible excuse for needing cash. Company rep on the other end delivers the good news: person is approved for finance and cash is coming right their way. Huzzah!
Madness. That’s all I have to say about that.
While we’re on the subject, I got pitched a a business-related infographic last month at work, one that wasn’t amazing, but was mildly interesting. I checked out the source, and did a double take when I saw it had come from one of a new crop of local payday loan sites. Cue instant dismissal and deletion.
I get it. It’s a hard sell to market these kinds of loans, and content creation is where it’s at these days. But credibility matters, and some things you just can’t overcome. (I can add payday loan providers/other financial predators to the list of places I would never consider working, not just because it would be so freaking hard, but from a moral POV.) Many people are just not going to even consider endorsing you in any way whatsoever. For bloggers who do, though, there must be plenty of money in it. I personally find it amusing to see how those kinds of sponsored posts have evolved – they’ve moved into more sophisticated placements, woven almost naturally into posts about other topics, and in one case I saw, even snarking on them editorially.
Meanwhile, the PF madness/excitement continues elsewhere, with the US sequester, the continuing fallout from some blogging plagiarism, and a Twitter stoush or two this week.
This is a carnival all about money talk, after all so MD from Start Freelancing Now’s Freaking Crucial Tools That Every Freelancer Needs to Make Money & Stay Focused gets my first nod.
Investor Junkie from Investor Junkie asks Will You Still Need an Emergency Fund When You Retire? Can’t say I’ve ever thought about it, but the obvious answer seems to be ‘yes’ – being retired doesn’t exclude you from potential emergencies…
Jon from Novel Investor lists the Best Investment Books Every Investor Must Read. Go forth, expand your mind.
Revanche from A Gai Shan Life reckons Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that it’s about making the best of our individual situations. We can only play the hand of cards we’ve each been dealt in life.
Ray from Squirrelers says Check for Money Leaks, as money leaks can drain us before we know it. Don’t I know it! Plug ‘em up good.
Mrs PoP from Planting Our Pennies asks What’s An Appropriate Level of Stockpiling? Indeed, it’s a fine line between hoarding and stockpiling. We don’t have the room to stockpile, but my hoarding tendencies mean I have a lot of useless crap lying around that’s accumulated over the years.
Madness: the cost of the average wedding. Don’t want to spend a couple of months’ salary on a wedding venue? Me neither. Here’s Lance from Money Life and More on Finding a Frugal Venue for Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions
Madness: those who don’t get that pets, like kids, are a responsibility. Wish more people would take heed of this. TTMK from Tie the Money Knot presents Don’t Buy a Pet if You Can’t Afford One
Madness: sacrificing health for money. Does being on a budget mean eating crap? Didn’t think so. Amy from Money Mishaps suggests Economical Foods You Can Eat to Stay Healthy While on a Budget
Madness: the cost of sporting activities. Kiddie extracurriculars don’t come cheap. Jason Price from Family Living Finance presents How Can You Afford the High Cost of Youth Sports?
Madness: the cost of house renos. Considering buying a new house vs renovating? Sean from One Smart Dollar weighs up Affording a Major Home Makeover
Madness: compulsive clothes shopping. What’s up with that? Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings doesn’t get regular clothes shopping
Madness: blind hatred of credit cards. It’s all about how you use them. Jules Wilson from Faithful With a Few confesses I Hate To Say This, But I Was Saved By A CREDIT CARD
Madness: the importance of three measly digits. Everything you ever wanted to know about that all important number. Gary from Gajizmo.com presents What Is Considered A Good Credit Score?
Madness: the wealth equality gap. I’ve never earned the minimum wage (my first job paid nearly $1 over) but plenty of people have to get by on it. Michael from Financial Ramblings presents Who Works for Minimum Wage?
Madness: taxes, fees and all the other costs travel providers like to slap you with. Hidden fees can be a real budget buster. Kristen from My Dollar Plan outlines 11 Hidden Hotel Fees and How to Avoid Them,
Madness: growing up without any concept of the value of money. Start ‘em young! Bryan from BryanMaltier.com explains How To Teach Kids About Money
Madness: ruining bread. It’s summer here, so unfortunately this just doesn’t work for me right now: Money Beagle from Money Beagle says Get That Bread Out Of Your Refrigerator
Madness: mortgage rates. I DREAM of a 30 year fixed mortgage option. You guys don’t know how lucky you are. PK from Don’t Quit Your Day Job… on The Curious Case of The 30-Year Mortgage Rate
Madness: excessive procrastination. The key to getting started is … getting started. Michal from Dough Roller presents How to Start Your Real Estate Investing Journey: A 5 Step Plan
Madness: there’s an app for everything. The internet is a wonderful thing, no? Peter from Bible Money Matters suggests the Top Online Personal Finance Management Software to Get Your Budget Back on Track
Madness: it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. How do you turn a struggling business into a cash cow? Bob from Dwindling Debt presents Turning Distressed Credit Into Financial Gain
Madness: you need money to make money. Buffett: killing it in the market since … how old is he, anyway? Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Warren Buffett on Dividends: Ideas from his 2013 Letter to Shareholders
Madness: financial jargon. Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance explains What is a Stock Split?
Madness: we’re drowning in data. Financial information – it’s everywhere you look. But what does it all mean? D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks lists 6 High-Dividend, Low P/E Value Stocks
Madness: the stock market. Are we finally on the road to recovery? Darwin from Darwin’s Money on Why Stocks Are Breaking Records and it’s Not a Bubble
Madness: betting on beating the market every single time. Nonetheless, let’s all gaze into our crystal balls, preferably channelling Nate Silver rather than Sybil Trelawney. Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog reveals The Sector that Will Beat the Market in 2013
Madness: getting too complacent. Are your yields safe right now? Do you even have any? Pete from Intelligent Speculator presents What Makes A Dividend Yield Safe?
Madness: more jingoistic jargon. Almost read this as Aristocats, which would have been way cooler. Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents What Are Dividend Aristocrats and What You Need to Know About Them
Madness: how far a giant can fall. My first ever cellphone was a Nokia. Ah, nostalgia. But is the Finnish company on the way back? Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents 5 Reasons to Invest in Nokia
Madness: the dearth of worthwhile opportunities on the internet. That said, there are more ways to make a buck beyond answering poxy online surveys. Shaun from Money Cactus shares 6 Ways to Earn Money Online Starting Right Now
Madness: but if the government was to shut down … Pat S outlines How Military Members Can Survive a Government Shutdown
Madness: the amount of unpaid work we do every day. Is there money to be made in catering? Mike from The Financial Blogger ponders How You Can Make Money From What You Do Every day For Free
Madness: the majority of new ventures that fail. Don’t rush in blindly. Sam from The New Business Blog suggests Tips to Improve Your Odds of Small Business Success
Madness: taking one step back for every two forward. Trying to get ahead, but feel like you’re always falling behind? Matt Bell from Sound Mind Investing presents Swimming Upstream in Our Consumer Culture,
Madness: education inflation. Are student loans the next subprime mortgages? John from Card Hub Blog presents Ask the Experts: How to Fix the Private Student Loan Market
Madness: ignoring the humble emergency fund. Where do you keep yours? My Journey to Financial Independence presents All About the Emergency Fund
Madness: missing important dates, be it your anniversary or your next medical appointment. Know your deadlines! Philip from PT Money presents Last Day to File Taxes in 2013
Madness: taxes, the pillar of capitalism. Tax cuts produce economic success. Right? Well, maybe not. Michael from Financial Ramblings presents The Economic Impact of Income Taxes
Madness: thinking ignorance is bliss. Finally, we can’t forget about the kidlets. Big Cajun Man from THE Canadian Finance Blog explains When to File a Tax Return for Your Kids
One last word: I hate to be the carni-Nazi, but folks. This is the ORIGINAL personal finance blog carnival. Read the guidelines and respect ‘em, please. Don’t spam it with stuff you’ve already sent to every other carnival out there. This is for exclusive and recent posts. While I’ve done my best to filter out posts I saw in other blog carnivals published earlier today, I may not have caught them all.
Tags: blogging, money, personal finance
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2013.
A couple of years ago I wrote about the cost of hobbies. Luckily, I’m not into pricey pursuits like snowboarding or scuba diving – most of my hobbies (reading, blogging etc) are pretty close to free, or as close as you can get.
There are two areas where I do channel my money, though.
It’s really hard to stick to our grocery/eating out budget sometimes (the latter of which also basically comprises our entertainment budget). We both love to eat and live to eat rather than eat to live. Yet with other necessities like housing and transport being so expensive, keeping food costs down is important.
When we go over budget (like we have for the past few weeks) I find it hard to feel terribly guilty. I’ll happily splurge on good cheese/ice cream (heck, almost any dairy product), for example. And we celebrate basically all occasions with a meal out.
We spent a slightly ridiculous amount travelling the South Island for two weeks last spring (things like a fishing charter, ski day and river cruise will do that to you) and I didn’t regret a single cent of it. I like my life just fine, but the absolute happiest memories I’ve ever had are those when I’m travelling. Hence, why we’re hitting the road for the rest of the year after the wedding. I know people who go to the same place every year on holiday, but I like variety.
Experiences, not stuff, has always been my thing. Good food and seeing new places make me happy.
What do your hobbies cost you?
Tags: money, personal finance, women's money week 2013
Tags: money, personal finance, reflections, relationships, women's money week 2013
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2013.
To kick off Women’s Money Week 2013, we’re talking about increasing income. I’ve had multiple gigs going on for most of my working life, and done a lot of odd jobs from waitressing at events to tutoring, mystery shopping and taking part in all kinds of market research. Here’s a sample of the highlights…
The weirdest way I’ve made extra money
I’ve done a few strange things in the name of market research. For the sake of cold hard cash, I’ve eaten KFC, sampled a range of margarines, and even had electrodes attached to my head. That took place in a downtown hotel conference room, where we all sat still for a couple of hours and watched a lot of Mr Bean, interspersed with a few ads, while they monitored our brain activity.
The easiest way I’ve made extra money
Running around putting up flyers on university campuses was probably the cruisiest thing I’ve ever done. And it paid pretty well at the time – something like $15 an hour plus mileage.
The most flexible way I’ve made extra money
It’s basically impossible to beat working from home for flexibility. For me, freelancing in spare time has been the most convenient way of increasing income.
The most efficient way I’ve made extra money
I’ve pulled back from mystery shopping as it just isn’t worth the time anymore, but back in the day one of the companies I worked for paid $10 per bus survey, and they were dead easy. I lived near a transport hub and could catch any number of buses between my house and town, and I had an unlimited bus pass. I’d catch different routes every day, earning a few bucks just for commuting, and when I had free time (lunchtime, or at the end of the day, or sometimes even on weekends) I’d just hop and off 3-4 buses an hour, going back and forth along key arterial routes.
The hardest way I’ve made extra money
In my last year of school, I worked for a local family doing babysitting/tutoring and homework help, 2 hours a week, 3-4 times a week. I was paid $15 cash for two hours (basically the equivalent of the minimum youth wage at the time. Thankfully, later on I progressed to proper grownup tutoring at $20-30 an hour). As with most people/service oriented gigs, it was incredibly hard graft, incredibly frustrating at times, but also incredibly gratifying when I actually got through to the kids.
The easiest AND hardest way I’ve made extra money
I can negotiate an ad deal or put together a sponsored post worth hundreds of dollars in under an hour. But it’s taken hundreds (maybe thousands? My sense of time ain’t so good) of hours to get this wee blog to the point where this is possible.
What are some weird, wacky, or otherwise interesting ways you’ve increased your income?
Tags: money, personal finance, women's money week 2013, work
- I would dearly like to NOT make lunches to take to work every day (SO TEDIOUS) but it’s such a big money saver. I’d also like to go to the supermarket and not constantly have to think about how much the total bill will be. I would love to buy really good food
all some of the time, cost be damned.
- I wish I had a personal chef. Seriously. It’s like I’ve lost all motivation to cook this summer. I don’t really enjoy it and I’m not particularly good at it. I think if I had the choice I would rather make more money and focus on work (though I do like what I do) and be able to outsource the procuring and production of yummy meals (or just get T to do it all. Whatevs).
- I wish T made more money. He’s never gone back to making pre-recession income levels. And I wouldn’t say no to making more myself, of course.
- I wish the IRD would sort its shiz out. For the past six months T’s income tax refund has been in limbo; the IRD says it’s been credited to his bank account – the same one he’s had for about five years – but it hasn’t shown up in there for some unknown reason. Where is it and who can release it??? It’s in some kind of banking no-man’s land. And it’s painful. That’s $500 we could definitely use.
- I wish it was easier to make money than to spend money. Alas, the dollars leave you much faster than you can earn them. They’ll be flowing out pretty fast in coming weeks, what with a wedding and extended trip ahead.
What’s on your financial wish list?
Tags: money, personal finance
Is there anything worse than restaurants that don’t allow you to split the bill?
I was out to yum cha with a group of friends from university the other day – one of those slightly awkward situations where we were all brought together by a central friend, the spoke in the wheel, so to speak. I wouldn’t really have hung out with any of the others of my own volition, but she was our mutual connection and our glue. And it was surprisingly fun.
Come time to leave, we lined up at the counter to settle the account. The person who was up first went to pay her portion (let’s call her H) but after being told the policy was one bill per table, paid for the entire lunch. I had cash because I’d anticipated this might happen, and so did one of the others – yet despite us practically throwing our $20 bills at her, H wouldn’t accept any of it. “You guys can get it next time!”
Only thing is, if there IS a next time, it probably won’t be for another couple of years. I literally had not seen her since graduation.
That said, among those of us there that day, she outearned us all by far. I mean, I don’t know how much she makes, but I would say anywhere from $15-25k more than the best paid among the rest of us (journalists are poor! She may not be using her degree, but she started on a much higher income straight out of uni, and she certainly earns the most money now). In comparison, she’d have been best placed to afford it.
Some of my closer friends often do the same on a smaller scale (picking up a $10 meal or covering a drink or two, that kind of thing). Lunch for four of us, though, would probably have been between $50 and $80 (I wasn’t keeping a close track of what we ordered). I would definitely have accepted the cash.
How big of a tab would you willingly pick up for others? Acquaintances? Close friends?
Tags: food, money, personal finance